NTSB Searching For Cause Of Delta Accident


The NTSB issued an update Monday on its investigation into last week’s runway accident involving a Delta MD-88 at LaGuardia Airport, in New York, but the cause is not yet clear. The safety board said investigators were examining and testing the jet’s antiskid, autobrake and thrust reverser systems on Monday. The board also reported that it has interviewed the flight crew, and the pilots said they based their decision to land on ATC’s reports that braking conditions were “good.” Two other flights had landed within several minutes prior to the Delta flight, and both reported “good” conditions. The crew said the runway appeared “all white” when they broke through the overcast, moments before landing.

The crew also told investigators the automatic spoilers did not deploy, but the first officer deployed them manually. The auto brakes were set to “max” but the crew didn’t sense any wheel brake deceleration. The captain said he was unable to prevent the airplane from drifting left. Damage to the aircraft was substantial, including damage to the left wing’s leading-edge slats, trailing-edge flaps, and flight spoilers; a breach of the left wing fuel tank; and damage to the front radome, weather radar and to the underside of the fuselage from the front of the airplane to the area of the left front passenger door. Damage was also noted in the nose landing gear well and main electronics bay.There were 127 passengers and 5 crew on the jet when the accident occured; 23 passengers received minor injuries, but all of them have been released from the hospital.The investigation is continuing.